Friday, April 16, 2010

Panera Knock-off...Asiago Cheese Bread

We Panera breads...especially their Asiago cheese!
It must be one of their most popular choices because they are
frequently out of it when I stop in to buy a loaf
for company that's coming to dinner.
Very Frustrating!

I decided to experiment & try to duplicate it on my own. This recipe tastes very similar to the one you can buy from Panera except for the addition of black pepper, which you could certainly leave out if you prefer.

Asiago Cheese Bread

  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups Asiago cheese
  • 1 egg

In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, yeast, salt and pepper.

In small saucepan, heat milk & butter over medium-high heat until butter is melted.

(The water temperature should be between 105° F. and 115° F. I Use an instant read thermometer…it should feel very warm but not hot)

Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.

Stir in 1 cup of the cheese.

Gradually stir in about 2 cups of the flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead until smooth & elastic, about 10 mins, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Oil large bowl, add dough and turn to coat.

Cover with clean towel. Let rise in warm place 1 hour or until double in volume.

(I use my bread maker, set on 'manual' to do the mixing & the first rise up to this point. I used 3 C. flour)

Coat an 8"x 2" round cake pan (you could use a reg. loaf pan) with cooking spray.

Punch down dough. Form dough into a 6-inch round.

Place in pan. Cover with towel.

Let rise in a warm place away from drafts about 45 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Preheat oven to 425º.

Brush top of dough with the lightly beaten egg.

Sprinkle top with the remaining 1/4 cup of the cheese.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped with fingertips.

Transfer the bread to a wire rack. Let cool.

Ready to go into the oven.
I should have let it rise a bit longer but I
wanted to serve it with dinner, so I rushed it.
It really should be a taller loaf.

I buy my Asiago cheese from Sam's Club
in the big size & just grate my own as needed.
The secret to keeping it fresh & not moldy
is to wrap it in a NEW piece of plastic wrap
after each use.

Bacteria from the air land on the moist surface of the old
plastic wrap as soon as you open it & this will
grow mold on your cheese quickly.

I got this tip to use a fresh DRY piece of plastic
wrap each time its opened
from Brindley's Wine & Cheese Shop
in Venice, FL.
I asked the owner how they managed to keep
such HUGE blocks of cheese so fresh & this
was his advice. It works!

I love this little pepper grinder I found
at my grocery store, Giant Eagle.
I frequently reach for it when cooking meats or preparing soups.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that it has some really HOT pepper bits
which became very apparent in the bread.
I won't use it for this recipe again but it is good in lots of other dishes.

I'm joining

& the very creative & inspiring Michael Lee
Designs by Gollum

Come see what others are cooking up!

Thank you, Michael, for gathering all
these wonderful recipes
thank YOU for visiting The Gazebo House.

Stop back on Saturday to learn about a delicious
Cranberry-Orange Chutney.




  1. I had lunch at Panera just a few days ago and had this bread and a bowl of cheddar broccoli soup. I figured out how to make the soup at home and now I can back a loaf of this delicious bread.

    Thanks, Rett. I agree, Panera breads are good, especially the bagels.

  2. We don't have a Panera here...but I have eaten Asiago Cheese bread before....wonderful.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  3. You've done it again, girl! My mouth is watering and I would "kill" for a piece of that bread right now! Bravo to you for coming up with your own recipe.

  4. Asiago bread is one of my favorites! It is great to see a homemade version. I can't wait to try making some myself!!

  5. I'll look for a Panera the next time I go south of the border, but in the meantime this looks like the perfect thing for dunking in balsamic vinegar and olive oil at home. Thanks!

  6. I'm a fan of Panera's also..nice to have a recipe for the bread as a back up! Love their broccoli soup, finally found a recipe for that also.
    Great post and photos!! (I would leave the pepper out too)

  7. HI Rett!!!!
    You are so amazing and such an inspiration to me, look at you, making home made bread and not just plain ole bread but a like version of something from Panerra Bread!!!!WOW!!!!
    Good job!!!!
    Lucky family

  8. Hi Rett,
    The bread looks amazing! I went into a Panera Bread once..but I thought it was pricey,,next time you make it figure out the will be an amazing difference! The cheese is the most expensive..( I need to save my $$ for WS?PB outlet..:) )
    I don't have a bread maker..can I just mix it in my KA or food processor?
    Have a great weekend!

  9. What gorgeous bread! DH and I are both Panera addicts and bring home the bread back to NY whenever we drive back from DD's in Mass.

  10. Rett - Hope you like the soup - I did add some Dijon mustard and hot sauce as recommended in some of the reviews...just a little!


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